When you hear Municipal Association you may think of the words boring, red tape, government, maybe even dread. But when this rookie found out she would get to attend the Hometown Legislative Action Day in Columbia, there was nothing but excitement, eagerness and, most of all, an overwhelming feeling of humbleness. According to what I was reading about, I was going to spend the day surrounded by almost 500 other municipal leaders (including mayors, council women/men, city administrators) and hopefully meet some legislators from our region.
The day started early. I found myself sitting in a ballroom surrounded by my fellow municipal leaders and quickly overwhelmed by feelings of comradeship and patriotism. My fellow leaders were a very diverse group (to my pleasant surprise), yet for the day in my head, we were all one…all American…all wanting to help and make things better. The day was full of speakers and panels, all sharing information. I’m sure most had heard it all before, but of course I had not so I was all ears, hyper listening to every word the panelists had to say. I am sure if you had been asked to pick the rookie out of the crowd no one would have had a challenge finding yours truly.
We all took a break and walked over to the Capital where we were able to watch the Senate in session and the work of a sub-committee. After that, it was back to the ballroom for more panels, followed by a reception in the lobby that evening. There were lots of introductions, food and beverages…and an amazing DJ. Nothing brings a crowd together better than the Cupid Shuffle and a little shag dancing. There was a lady who looked like me and was on the dance floor with 20 other “dancers” in case you hear it was me. ; )
That night, I went to bed way later than I expected to. I was tired, but I knew the day was a great experience and I had met a lot of amazing people who may be of service to our town’s needs one day.
I think after the “campaign,” I’ve been suffering from a little social media exhaustion and haven’t shared much about my experience so far in my new role. I can tell you that in the last three months I’ve had the honor to get to know some extremely intelligent, hard-working people who truly want what’s best for Mount Pleasant. Whether we agree or not (we don’t agree often and have a lot of 5-4 votes), we have been able to share our opinions, vote and move on to the next issue.
As one of nine council members, what has been a surprise to me has been the added bonus of gaining eight colleagues in the process. I don’t think there is one person who knows me who does not know how much I love my faculty, my students and my parents. It is also said that a principal is one of the loneliest jobs you can hold; I have found that to be true. Principals spend their days protecting and defending all, because for most of us that is what we love and what the job demands. Principals are always the boss. If things go well it’s truly because of your team, and when things don’t go well, it’s truly your responsibility. Knowing that, I was finding myself missing having colleagues; people to share highs and lows with and even if needed someone to talk about the boss! The cheese stands alone I thought…
That is until last November when I gained eight colleagues who are soon becoming friends and… I get to NOT be their boss! I am so looking forward to the next four years. I know times will get tough and it won’t always be this new and exciting. I may not even want to do this again after my term, but for now I am humbled by the thought that I was elected by my fellow residents and thoroughly enjoying being a very small part of our democracy and yes, as not sexy as it sounds, being a part of government.
By Principal Councilwoman Corley